Update on Memorial’s Plans for New Consent Requirements for Indigenous Research

Over the past several months, Academic Staff Members (ASMs) from across Memorial have contacted MUNFA with questions about the University’s plans to implement new requirements for Indigenous consent for Indigenous research. This Information Bulletin updates our members on that policy development process.

During fall and winter 2018-2019, the Office of the Vice President (Research) held information sessions on the intended new consent policy. The Associate Vice President  (Indigenous Research) has confirmed to MUNFA that feedback from participants in those meetings along with other input submitted to the VP (Research) office during this time will now help inform a detailed policy draft. Once that document is ready, the University will circulate it and hold standard policy consultations, giving people a formal opportunity to provide their input.

Memorial does not expect that the new policy will be implemented by the originally-posted date of July 1, 2019. Until new policy is formally adopted, research is to adhere to all existing consent requirements (both Memorial’s and those of the appropriate Indigenous governments or other jurisdictional bodies). In the interim, the VP (Research) office intends to publish best-practice working principles, and researchers are being advised to consider how future guidelines may affect research, particularly if it is likely to extend into the period when any new guidelines are implemented.

The Office of the Vice President (Research) has updated its website to reflect the new timeline: https://www.mun.ca/research/Indigenous/consent.php. We encourage our members to review the newly-posted information.  Please send feedback and questions relating to the policy consultation process to MUNFA, as well as to the office of the VP (Research).